tv Deadline White House MSNBC November 15, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
constitution and the destiny of what churchill called the great republic. >> jon meacham thank you so much. "deadline: white house," that great show is one of the great shows by the way. it's maybe one of the greatest shows in the history. just kidding. is really is a good show. starts right now. ♪ i appreciate the plug from my friend, chris matthews. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york on what is turning out to be a highly significant and incredibly dramatic day of breaking news in those investigations surrounding donald trump. his longest serving political adviser roger stone is now a convicted felon. he was found guilty on seven counts, include witness tampering, lying to congress and obstruction of justice brought by robert mueller's russia investigation that. coming as trump's impeachment inquiry saw its most dramatic day on only the second day of public hearings. former u.s. ambassador to
ukraine, marie yovanovitch ousted in may by donald trump who would later tell the president of ukraine, quote, she is going to go through some things. with the bombshell in today's proceedings came from trump himself when he attacked yovanovitch anew. it was another smear against a veteran diplomat who served the united states for more than 30 years under six presidents four of them republicans. and while we don't need to dignify the president's invective by repeating it or showing it here, we want to highlight its impact and its response. here's marie yovanovitch's realtime reaction. >> the president implicitly threatened you in that call record. and now the president realtime is attacking you. what effect do you think that has on other witnesses' willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing? >> well, it's very intimidating.
>> designed to intimidate, is it not? >> uh, i mean, i can't speak to what the president is trying to do. but i think the effect is to be intimidating. >> well, i want to let you know, ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously. >> a crime committed in plain view. we were all watching. witness intim dachq it's an accusation that appeared to quickly get under the president's skin. he lashed out when reporters asked him about it this afternoon. >> i have the right to speak. i have freedom of speech just as other people do. but they've taken away the republicans' rights. >> do you believe your tweet and your words -- sir, do you believe your -- >> quiet, quiet, quiet, please. >> that your words can be intimidating? >> i don't think so at all. >> today's witness marie yovanovitch seems to disagree. and it's worth pointing out that trump's smear of yovanovitch
this morning came almost at the very moment that she was describing her alarm and dismay in reaction at that other attack from donald trump in the july 25th phone call that he had with the ukrainian president. here was that part of her testimony, some of the most vivid of the day. >> what did you think when president trump told president zelensky and you read that you were going to go through some things? >> i didn't know what to think. but i was very concerned. >> what were you concerned about? >> she's going to go through some things. it didn't sound good. it sounded like a threat. >> did you feel threatened? >> i did. it was a terrible moment. a person who saw me actually reading the transcript said that the color drained from my face. i think i even had a physical reaction.
i think, you know, even now words -- >> it's an unbelievable moment. joining us now on this huge day of news some of our favorite reporters and friends including a new friend. political reporter for axios al ex-ie mchammond. special counsel's investigation andrew weisman is here. rev al sharpton, host of "politicsnation." plus, white house reporter for the l.a. times, eli stokels, joyce vance. and frank figliuzzi is here. andrew, i want to start with you. and i just want to ask you a simple question. what kind of question was marie yovanovitch? >> incredible. as a trial lawyer this is exactly what you want to call as a witness. i think the republicans were smart not to follow the president's lead and she basically spent their time -- it was really a smart strategy not to do that. but it left an enormous gap
between where the president was and where the republicans were. it was basically a love fest once the questioning started. we are praising her which i think you really had to do. she was that kind of witness that you really could not attack her. >> so the democrats are trying to do in public what you and your colleagues did in private. they are trying to build a case and present it to the public and build public support for a simple assertion that the president abused his power by asking the leader of a foreign country to dirty up joe biden and reopen the settled question of who meddled in the 2016 election. what part of that story does marie yovanovitch tell? >> she is really important in the issue of why was the president trying to get rid of her? there is no question that the president had the power to get rid of her. it sounds a lot like the issue that was confronted about getting rid of comey. no one questions that you have the power to get rid of a presidential appointee. but the issue that became really salient today was why did that
happen? particularly when you have all of the republicans saying she seems like a wonderful, wonderful servant, somebody who you want in that position. so that i think is going to be very, very difficult for the republicans to answer to give a cogent argument that is different than the republicans -- i'm sorry, the democrats' answer to that, which is you didn't want her there because she was going to prevent what it is that giuliani and lev and igor were doing at the behest of the president which was trying to foment a criminal investigation against the bidens. >> it lands with a wallop when you make that analogy that the firing of yovanovitch and her removal so many months before the july 25th call that there is some sort of parallel and a fact pattern, a different fact pattern to the firing of jim comey the. and he would the power and the authority as the president to have whomever he wanted as fbi director. but it was examined as a potential act of obstruction of justice. and andy mccabe said it was also
examined as an open question about whether donald trump was trying to benefit vladimir putin. >> i think she herself really gave the biggest picture of what it means to attack career public servants and what is happening right now in the state department. and i think this is really separate from anything that happens in the impeachment process, whether there is a vote for impeachment or not. one thing that's clear is she phrased it is there is a hollowing out of the state department. and as a career public servant for many, many years it was hard not to be really moved by that and just as a citizen be upset by that process. when you think about the president and the issue of abuse of power, that is what the democrats are going to be arguing, that that abuse of power has had this incredible effect on core institutions like the state department. >> you know, frank figliuzzi,
it's so important. and i still hear from a lot of republicans who ask me why are you so seared by the trump presidency. and it is this decimation of the institutions that i was a part of that people served in. yovanovitch epitomizes and i don't know how to say this strongly enough, the best of what the u.s. federal government produces and sends out into the world. she is the best that we have. and that she was removed. it wasn't that donald trump didn't have the power to remove her. it's that he removed her to do something that he didn't do anywhere else around the world or in america. in his words root out corruption. what'd you hear today, frank? >> what i heard was basically a human speed bump. and by that i mean in trump's eyes, he was convinced that ambassador yovanovitch was this speed bump to getting his corrupt scheme done. he couldn't go around her.
and there was no other alternative but to remove her. and we see even today he is still at it. he's revictimizing a victim of a smear campaign that he directed. and quite honestly, nicole, if this were a criminal proceeding in federal court, you'd see prosecutors moving to the judge for a gag order on the president. he is engaged in intimidation. i heard today, nicole, a couple of folks say, well, he can't be engaged in witness imtim dation while the witness is actually speaking. she can't see his tweets. and here's what i say to that. a former new york yankees manager billy martin was once asked, hey, why are you ranting and raving and running on the field and screaming and intimidating the umpires when they've already made a call? and billy martin's response was i'm not intimidating the umpires on this call. i'm trying to intimidate them
for the next call. so what's going on here is trump is sending a message to the next witnesses. you get in there in that hearing room and i don't like what you say? you're going to get my wrath full-time publicly. and you're not going to like it. >> frank, i've got 37,000 questions for you because i haven't talked to you in a few days. but i also want to ask you it is so different. i just asked andrew about this. we are watching something unfold that we had really not a lot of visibility into during the mueller investigation. but we have the alleged crime that donald trump sought to extort the leader of ukraine for dirt on joe biden in a re-examination of 2020 election meddling by russia. we had these witnesses who are whatever the defense or definition of unimpeachable is, their pictures are next to that in a textbook. then you see republicans who i suppose their job is to mount some sort of defense of donald trump. what do you make of the fact
that they got nada, zilch, nothing? >> well, what i make of that is that the evidence that they've got to do everything but talk sub stabtive evidence. we are seeing the age old notion that when you don't have the facts on your side, bang on the table and scream loudly. that's what they're doing. we continue to hear this theme, this distraction deflection theme of, hey, this is about just one phone call, read the transcript. and everything will be fine. and we don't have anybody in the room who's actually talked with the president or even met the president. this is all distraction and it will eventually collapse as people come to the room who actually heard a phone call, actually heard or overheard sondland talking to the president. actually heard the call with the ukrainian president. then what happens to this defense? it collapses. >> and i'm sorry if anybody
heard what sounded like a test of our emergency broadcast system. i don't know what that is. it's been a long day. joyce vance, i want to show you some of marie yovanovitch being asked if she was aware of basically of this -- we don't have it yet. but rudy giuliani's name came up over and over again. she was asked if she met him and if she was aware of the campaign against her. and i just want to put the whole, you know, rudy picture on the table. the front page of the "wall street journal" today, hardly a paper associated with deep state actors, has three big headlines. federal prosecutors probe giuliani's links to ukrainian energy projects. federal prosecutors in new york are investigating whether to rudy giuliani personally stood to profit from a gas business push who also aided his efforts to launch investigations that could benefit trump. those two guys are going to be household names. it's lev and igor. they were rudy giuliani's men on
the ground in ukraine. they were part of the effort to smear yovanovitch. my question for you does it look like rudy and trump above him is the person who carried out the very things rudy's under investigation for, does it look like there is an impeachment inquiry coming from this end and a federal investigation coming from this end? and do you see an intersection? >> i think you're absolutely right, nicole. there is no doubt that these are two pieces that come together. whether or not they will ultimately intersect, we'll have to wait and see. but it goes back to what andrew was talking about in this whole notion of the president doing something that he had the ability to do. and then us asking the question why. and we heard a lot of that answer today. it's tied up in a corrupt motive. the corrupt motive that trump needed to get someone out of the way who was a committed corruption fighter. the reason that you have to get someone who's a committed corruption fighter out of the way is if you want to engage in
misconduct. and so the investigation that's going on in the southern district of new york is looking at misconduct by identified players, by lev, by igor, by rudy, perhaps involving others. we don't really know the full contours of that investigation yet. what we are looking at in impeachment proceedings is really this. was the president directing activity? i mean, it really comes down to this sort of watergate inquiry. what did the president know and when did he know it. and what was he himself doing. so these themes all tie up as they tied up today with the conviction of roger stone. a lot of trump's problems seem to be coming home to roost all at once. >> well, joyce, don't we have a new piece of blockbuster evidence that trump wasn't just aware of it? i have talked about that scandals usually go from the bottom and then how far up did it go. this seems to have started on the top. and you have donald trump calling gordon sondland on a cell phone in kiev and asking
about those conversations a day after zelensky. isn't this clearly a trump directed operation that rudy was carrying out for him? >> the evidence really looks that way. i suppose it's possible that at some point trump was approached about the notion of doing whatever it was that was the full conspiracy, i'll say just for lack of a better term, the full conspiracy that they were carrying out in ukraine. but trump was clearly a full and engaged partner. he had agreed to participate. the transcript of the july 25 phone call makes it absolutely clear that what was going on had his approval, that he wanted to have these outcomes occur. and now we hear this incredible news about this follow-up phone call that he has with sondland where all he's interested in is the investigation into the bidens. it's not about fighting corruption. it's not about our country's national security or foreign policy. it's about trump getting a personal favor, a personal benefit that he can use to try to win the 2020 campaign.
>> andrew, i want to be careful not to ask you anything about the investigation that we didn't see. but what we saw on the outside was that it looked like the russia -- what was ultimately written in the report was that the question about russia wasn't whether or not the trump campaign benefitted from what the russians did and what we saw from the russian intelligence agents. it is obviously what they did what our agents thought they did. the question that didn't get answered was whether or not there was a criminal conspire to work with them. it would seem that the public facing differences here is that donald trump thinks there's nothing wrong with working with the leader of ukraine to impact the result of the 2020 election or the ark of joe biden's campaign. what's the significance of that? >> looking at this in terms of what the democrats i think are going to do with the report is it's not going to be possible for the president to say i wasn't aware that it was a problem to ask a foreign leader
for help because that has been the topic for years. >> like three years now, right? >> and it's the same thing for if rudy is investigated for a foreign agent registration activation, he is not going to be able to say i wasn't aware of the law. so i think that's one way that it can be used. and just to go back to your question of how could the southern district investigation intersect with the impeachment investigation? i think one thing that's remarkable that the democrats have been able to do is to be able to get as far as they've gotten with no documents. as a prosecutor, and i think joyce would say the same and frank the same thing, which is that is really hard. documents are great. it is impossible given everything we have heard that those documents aren't going to be a gold mine. but although the state department and the white house can try and sort of create a wall with respect to the impeachment proceeding, i think that's going to be a hard thing to do with the southern district
of new york. so when they seek documents which they surely will with respect to giuliani, that's going to put a lot of pressure to start at least getting some wedge in terms of getting those documents released. >> eli, it's such a good point. one of the things that crystallized this scandal in its earliest phases were some of the emails and texts we saw. i think ambassador volker shared some of his exchanges with ambassador taylor. that was where we first learned that there were diplomats on the ground. people who were appointed by secretary of state mike pompeo who said if we are now conditioning aid on these investigations, that's crazy. and that was some of the drama of wednesday's public hearing. but if you think about the prospect that there is a federal investigation out of new york that may yield more evidence like that, it would seem unsustainable this sort of ground that the president and the republicans are staking out for themselves this week. >> yeah. this has been a really difficult day and week for the president
for his allies and the hits keep coming. and, you know, but this is sort of life in the white house. it's been topsy-turvy from the start. and so when you go talk to people over there, you are in the building. you know, it's hard to really get a sense of whether or not it's any more perilous than it was last week. obviously these developments, they are not good. there are a lot of storm clouds gathered here. but you look at the white house, the response, it has not been all that coordinated today, the press secretary tried to tell us the president wasn't going to be watching this. they tried to just push this and say don't watch, this is all boring. you don't really need to watch this. but the president's not that committed to the bit. we knew he was going to be watching. he is tweeting today about it. they put out the transcript this morning to have ranking member nunes read it at the start of the hearing. there is a glaring discrepancy between the transcript which has no dialogue about corruption and the original white house read-out from that first
conversation with president zelensky where it says they talked about corruption. i asked what's the deal, why the discrepancy? took several hours and the only answer i got was the nsc produces the readouts and the president's just being transparent. this is just not a well functioning, well-oiled machine right now. and the people in the building and the president himself, probably none of them are aware of all the things that are out there, all the anvils that are dropping around them. it's dicey right now over there, and it's certainly for the president whether he realizes it or not. and the defense they are trying to muster as a lot of people have already pointed out is just to continue to complain about the process, continue to dismiss this as partisan and boring even though anybody watching the hearing knows republicans had plenty of opportunities, they had equal time to cross-examine ambassador yovanovitch today. >> alexi. >> picking up on a number of things. we reported to axios just a few weeks ago. maybe it was a few weeks ago that the trump administration, the trump white house didn't have a proper war room to deal
with impeachment. they're not discussing the legality of this. they are only discussing the political aspect of this because that is what president trump understands. and the focus according to our reporting in this so-called war room was simply on senate republicans. it's not about house republicans. and we are seeing the perils play out today when president trump did the exact thing we reported this morning which is to assassinate yovanovitch's character and drag her character through the mud publicly. and that's exactly what he did. i think a really powerful question might've been, and i'm not on these committees and not asking these questions for a reason, but a powerful question to yovanovitch might've been have you ever felt or experienced anything similar to the type of intimidation you experienced from president trump in any of the other administrations you have worked in. you knew george w. bush better than anyone else at this table. she also worked under president barack obama. is this a normal thing to experience in your position or is this totally out of the norm? and i think that would have helped paint a broader picture to the viewers at home why this
isn't just unique to donald trump, why this is a bigger problem. >> alexi raises a good point about those of us who do this every day. we do sometimes stare at trees. do you think the picture of the forest came through today, rev? >> i do. i think when you saw how the republicans were somewhat civil. even jordan was on his best behavior, which does not mean he was acting like someone normal. but he was not -- >> as matthew said, there were no anita hill moments. that's where the bar is. >> and that's how the bar has become so low. but when you contrast that with how the president behaved and how he just exploded on twitter and the public is seeing the ambassador sitting there, who was very much the personification of what you would want to represent the united states, i think that it was a sterile day terrible day the optics. they don't have a war room on the legalities because they know they are guilty there's nothing
you can do about that. they are trying to say how do we get away with this politically because of course we are guilty. and they cannot get the president to behave because he knows that he engaged in this, and he frankly thinks there is nothing wrong with him engaging in this. you are dealing with a client that thinks it's all right to rob banks. so how do you have a defense against that. you are trying to get somebody in the jury to just hang the jury. and that's what they want the senate republicans to do. i was in alabama last night. my mother was from alabama and she said, son, you were born and raised in brooklyn, new york, you don't know anything about farming. i will give you one clue. i said what is that. she said if you throw a brick in a pile of hogs, the one that hollers is the one you hit. we sow who was hollering today. the only one who was hollering was donald trump. he was hollering over twitter while everyone else was being civilized.
more from marie yovanovitch. plus, on the day trump attacks a witness as she testifies before congress, his long-time pal roger stone is convicted of, wait for it, witness tampering. the other break news out of washington today coming up. plus, more trouble for rudy giuliani, the chief architect behind that smear campaign of marie yovanovitch. we report today of potentially putting him in more hot water thanks to his pals lev and igor. most are on all these stories coming up. up. make fitness routine with pure protein.
thrown into disarray, and shady interests the world over have learned how little it takes to remove an american ambassador who does not give them what they want. these events should concern everyone in this room. ambassadors are the symbol of the united states abroad. they are the personal representative of the president. they should always act and speak with full authority to advocate for u.s. policies. if our chief representative is knee-capped, it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security interests of the united states. how could our system fail like this? how is it that foreign corrupt interests can manipulate our government? which countries' interest are served when the very corrupt behavior we have been criticizing has been allowed to prevail? such conduct undermines the u.s., exposes our friends, and widens the playing field for autocrats like president putin.
our leadership depends on the power of our example and the consistency of our purpose. both have now been opened to question. >> joining our conversation just in time former senior fbi official chuck rosenberg. your thoughts? >> she asked a haunting question, nicole. her testimony was compelling and dignified. but she asked how could our system fail like this. here's the answer, i think. our system is the rule of law system that we love and have worked for most of our professional lives is a construct, right? it only exists because people of good will, men and women of good will ensure that it exists and flourishes and perseveres. when if i were to drop the pen, it would hit the ground anywhere i dropped it. but the rule of law doesn't work like the law of gravity. it depends on the good will of people to preserve it.
so when there is leadership at the top that is corrupt and craven and crass, the rule of law is threatened. how could our system fail like this? because the leadership at the top failed. >> and that includes mike pompeo? >> oh, my goodness, yes. the leader of any organization has an obligation i think that you can think of it in three ways. one to the american public. that's our first obligation. two, to the mission of the agency. that's our second obligation. and, three, to the men and women who work for that agency. that's our third obligation. mike pompeo's a west point graduate. he was an army officer. if he doesn't understand those three obligations, that's a significant failing. he has to stand up for the men and women of the state department. the president has gone too far. he's denigrated their work. he has denigrated them personally. he has threatened them
personally. i don't know how badly he wants this job or the next one, but at some point you have to stand up for the men and women of the state department and say this is wrong and i don't care what the consequences are to me personally. i will not abide this behavior, mr. president. you are out of bounds and it's my job mission, public, and men and women in my agency, to stand up for them. >> there is so much to say about mike pompeo. he is also the senior official who ties the call with the ukrainian leader and the call with the turkish leader together. he sat on both those calls. so unclear how he thinks that can aid him in his future endeavors. but i have some more of what ambassador yovanovitch said. >> the state department is being hollowed out from within at a competitive and complex time on the world stage. at the close deposition, i expressed grave concerns about the degradation of the foreign service over the past few years and the failure of state department leadership to push back as foreign and corrupt
interests apparently hijacked our ukraine policy. i remain disappointed that the department's leadership and others have declined to acknowledge that the attacks against me and others are dangerously wrong. >> who are the corrupt actors who have hijacked our ukraine policy? >> well, we have heard about quite a few so far. of course rudy giuliani. i would say the president of the united states. i don't doubt there are ukrainian actors as well who are deeply involved in this. but just as we are watching these hearings today, so are every man and woman in the state department. every foreign service officer, every public servant, civil servant in the state department. they are watching and they're asking the same question. when is our secretary, when is mike pompeo going to stand up for us expressly, publicly stand up for us? right now i think the only fairway to characterize it, nicole, is an abject failure of leadership and a cowardly stance that he's taken.
it's such a good point. and the moment that i thought he might burst out of his skin and become human again was when donald trump attacked her for basically blamed her for what happened in somalia during her mogadishu posting. what does it say that it's 4:32/57. donald trump said that in the 10:00 hour. no word from mike pompeo. does he or does he not believe ambassadors serving in war zones are responsible for said wars? >> and every ambassador is watching. they are all waiting for their leader to say something. he hasn't. so the silence is deafening. and i don't come out of the state department culture like andrew. i come out of a justice department culture. we look to our leaders for lots of things including moral guidance. when something is wrong we have to say it's wrong. if we don't say it's wrong we are, i believe, complicit in that behavior. that is the obligation we all have as public servants. six hours later, six days later, six weeks later, it's all
unacceptable. again, i don't know how badly he wants this job. i'm sure it's a cool job. i'm sure you get to go to lots of interesting places and meet lots of interesting people. no job is worth your dignity. >> does he need a good lawyer? >> i don't know. >> are there questions from congress about what he knew and when he knew it? >> sure. >> you are nodding. does he need a lawyer? >> i will defer to andrew. but i haven't seen criminal behavior. i am not talking about crime. this is a political process. but should they all be accountable to congress right now? >> i think he needs a mckinley to whisper in his ear. the. >> you do have speaker pelosi talking about bribery. you can look at it that way. you could look at it as extortion. i mean, remember, the theory here from the democrats is that you've got public funds being used for private purposes. and you don't get to --
>> trump has admitted to. >> exactly. although he's still i think saying there was no quid pro quo. so it's like -- i don't see how that's going to be sustainable. so, there is an extortion theory. there is a bribery theory. there is a campaign finance theory. those are all criminal violations. so, the issue of sort of whether people who are involved in this scheme need criminal lawyers, i've been a prosecutor and a defense lawyer. i certainly would get some legal advice. >> my last question is if the allegation that there was bribery, if what is known from the transcript released by the white house is that donald trump said i need a favor, though. and if that transcript caused so much alarm that a lawyer in the white house counsel's office locked it down, and a whistle-blower went to the cia lawyer and she went over and talked to the white house lawyer. what explains the fact that when they called doj they said, eh, nothing here? >> i think that is the $60,000
question. i think that is a huge question as to how it is that the department of justice came up with the conclusion that opposition research is somehow not a thing of value. that's something that was addressed in the mueller report that it can be a thing of value. and so i'm not sure what the law is that they are relying on for that proposition. i think anyone in the business, and i'm speaking to experts right here would say of course it's a thing of value, people spend a lot of money getting that material. so, i think that's a difficult one. but even if it's not a campaign finance violation, you still have a bribery and extortion issue. so i think speaker pelosi is correct to use frankly both of those as analogies to what went on here. >> so many potential crimes, so little time. when we come back, the president's favorite news station says it's a pretty bad day for him. more after this.
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if you are not moved by the testimony of marie yovanovitch today, you don't have a pulse. this whole hearing turned on a dime when the president tweeted about her realtime. and during the questioning, adam schiff stopped the democratic questioning to read the president's tweet to her and get her response. now that enabled schiff to then characterize that tweet as intimidating the witness or tampering with the witness, which is a crime, adding essentially an article of impeachment realtime as this hearing is going on. that changed this entire dynamic of this first part of this hearing. and republicans now are going to have to take the rest of this hearing to probably try to clean that up. >> alexi, is impossible to overstate the impact of
hard-hitting criticisms of donald trump on that network like those two we just aired? >> it is so incredibly rare. unless it's chris wallace which we have all come to know as one of the few, if only at times, sound voices on that network, now it's brett bayer. and as president trump is watching his preferred network starting at 6:00 a.m. with fox and friends and continuing through the night and tweeting about them all the time, he is not going to feel good watching that. and we've seen the ways in which president trump has responded to criticism from fox news hosts in the past. of course it's on different issues and not something to the scale. it's on policy, ideas, and proposals and different things like that. but he responds to that type of criticism. i don't know whether or not he will do that with something like this because he takes it so personally. and i'm not saying this as a slight to nbc or msnbc. i am saying this because there are so many people watching fox news. so there are a lot of trump supporters watching. they had 2.9 million -- >> no slight taken. let me just add to it. it's not just the size of their
audience. it's that those are the viewers largely represented by republican senators who will likely be the jurors in a senate trial. so it's not just the size -- huge audiences almost all hours of the day we'll give you that to our friends at fox news, congratulations, seriously. but it is the impact of the facts breaking through on that network to the republican senators who will decide donald trump's fate. >> that's exactly right. and again to the viewers because often in the trump era we see this dual split-screen moment where cnn and msnbc will be talking about something, and then you turn on fox news and there is a totally different narrative being pushed. and that's why it's so important for folks like chris wallace, brett bayer, others on fox news when they have all these people tuning in and when they are represented by those republican senators to tell the truth to state the facts, not to put spin
on something that will ultimately decide the future of this election but the future of this country and the future of the american people and what they know and what they don't know. i have this theory, and i trotted it out on jake sherman. he was a little skeptical. but i wonder as this goes on. there are very few live events other than sporting events, olympics, crimes, tragedies, that we all experience together that get road block coverage, six networks take them, three networks, three cable channels. and you cannot predict the impact of a collective television experience. and i think if you look at fox news, they could not avoid covering the facts of what happened today. and the facts of what happened today are that donald trump sought to threaten or intimidate a witness in realtime. >> and the problem with that is that they're watching it in realtime and have to respond in realtime. so there is no time to get the spin from the political war room and the white house they are looking -- as brett bayer of all
people said, another impeachable act. they didn't just criticize it. he piled on top of it. and i think the reality that you are looking at in terms of the politics of it. i wonder how many republicans on that panel started getting notes from their aides or tweets saying you better be careful because fox is going lake effect which could affect senators facing primaries. if i'm one of the 20 senate candidates that have to run for re-election or try to run for election republican, i'm worried about now my base is hearing something different. and that politics does not in mi way help the president. >> i have a theory on why he sent that tweet. i think he watched this sort of nutty nunes open, which wasn't just fringy. it was incomprehensible fringe. then he sort of saw stefanik get
shut down. and he said i got this, bang, bang, bang. and now he's got another impeachable offense on his hands. so says fox news. >> well, it's remarkable because that stefanik thing you referenced where nunes tried to cede the initial 45 minutes of questioning. it looked like something they planned ahead of time so that they had get schiff gaveling down the only republican woman on the committee. and then they could make their argument about the process being unfair later. that is exactly what they have done. but low and behold there is donald trump at the white house stepping all over it and attacking the female career foreign service officer who's on the stand. and i think, you know, beyond whether or not this adds to another article of impeachment against him, the people watching whether they are watching on fox, msnbc, cnn, or reading about it in their paper tomorrow, they are seeing the president attacking a woman. this is a republican party and a president already hemorrhaging votes in the suburbs with women
voters, and they are just not doing themselves any favors. there was a recess before the questioning really got going. and maybe republicans conferred with one another. maybe they were aware of the television coverage. but what we saw when they came back was that every single one of them steered clear of trying to attack yovanovitch like the president did. and many went out of their way to praise her character and her service. we are losing you after this segment. i want to give you the last word. i want to ask you how did this case, the public case advance today? >> so, first just on an emotional level, what's going to be needed here is the public has to care. they have to care about what happened here. and this witness, even more than the witnesses two days ago, really gave an emotional core. it was so hard not to be able to listen to her and say how did this happen to you? who would possibly remove you and why.
and that really i think is going to resonate. i think it's very hard for the people who are actually going to come to this with fair minds. i think that's the biggest thing that she brings to it. but just in terms of rally sort of the relevant component of this is the answer to why did she need to be removed is if you are going to pull off a corrupt scheme, you needed to get rid of her. in order to have sondland be the person who is going to allow this to go on, she is not going to be there because the very time she was being removed she got the call while she was actually giving a medal to the father of a corruption fighter, which was just an incredible vignette. and the democrats i think really capitalized on that well to say this is who the president is pulling out of ukraine in order to be able to do his dirty work. >> it's such a good point and it also explains why this is resonating with the public. it's like when they put the little cloth over the cop's face so they can go in and gather
whatever they rob. it's wonderful to have your expertise. eli, it's always wonderful to have you. thank you, my friend, for spending some time with us. after the break for a president who says he is completely innocent of all wrongdoing, he sure has a lot of friends going to jail. more on the latest convicted felon in donald trump's inner, inner circle. that's next. inner circle that's next. we didn't know where to turn for more information. that's why i recommend a free service called a place for mom. we have local senior living advisors who can answer your questions about dementia or memory care and, if necessary, help you find the right place for your mom or dad. we all want what's best for our parents, so call today.
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we chose eleanor. it was great-grandma's name. so we're in this little town near salerno and everyone has dad's eyebrows. help your family discover their unique story, with a gift from ancestry. so what does it say about donald trump that we have to take a break from talking about his impeachment and rudy's criminal investigation out of sdny to tell you about another one of his associates and friends being convicted of felonies in federal court. republican operator, republican dirty trick ster, donald trump's longest-serving political counselor roger stone found guilty today on all seven counts brought against him by robert mueller. it was an investigation that started by those mueller investigators. so in case you're keeping score
at home, here's the list of donald trump's campaign manager, his deputy campaign manager, his attorney, his national security advisor, his political advisor, and his low-level coffee boy. you know what they all have in common? they are all convicted felons. frank, you know, i'm coming straight for you. what did we learn today? >> well, we learned that the witch hunt has captured yet another witch. so a warlock. so all that sham mueller special inquiry stuff, you know, it's caught a lot of bad guys. and here's the deal with roger stone. not only was he convicted on all counts but -- but -- and they were obstruction and lying to congress counts. but here's why. i love this line from the prosecutor, nicolle. stone was lying and obstructing because quote the truth would look bad for the president unquote. he wasn't lying to cover his rear end. he wasn't obstructing to cover his back.
he was lying to cover for donald j. trump. and what was the lie and obstruction about? it was about the connection to wikileaks and releasing dnc e-mails at the right time for the election. stone betrayed our form of democracy and our free election process for donald j. trump. that's what this trial was about. that's why stone was convicted on every single count. >> and there's a witness in the impeachment investigation who we will see in a public hearing next wednesday. ambassador gordon sondland. at least one house democrat has accused him of purgering himself. he's already amended his testimony, adding three pages of new testimony about things he remembers from the testimony of ambassador taylor and others. it seemed to me that obviously no one can orchestrate the timing.
but you -- you -- you could just feel the -- the ripple of roger stone's conviction for the felony count of lying to congress sort of ripple through perhaps the people sitting around gordon sondland getting him ready for next wednesday. >> i think the reason it ripples and resonates so much with us is because we've never seen a president who's been surrounded by so much corruption. a president who's surrounded by people who lie, who have bad memories, and who ultimately become felons. and so that's the through line that begins with the mueller report, comes all the way through these impeachment hearings and on to the roger stone conviction. they're all lying. they all, including the president, have failures of memory. that's one of the key points in the roger stone trial where we learned that the president, who couldn't remember the details of any of his conversations with roger stone, allegedly according to rick gates, the deputy campaign manager did have a
conversation with they talked about wikileaks and the president talked about what was coming next. it all begins to come together. what -- what is it that nancy pelosi says? all roads lead to putin. it looks like that may well be the end point for all this. >> chuck, are we to believe it's a coincidence that roger stone lied to congress to protect donald trump from something that was unflattering about russia? gordon sondland had to amend his testimony because what he would have testified to would have been donald trump doing something to ukraine, withholding military aid that was good for putin. is it a coincidence that everything everyone lies about is good for putin? >> i hope i'm speaking for frank and joyce here. those of us who come out of federal law enforcement don't really believe in coincidences. you know, i remember it seems like three decades ago when michael cohen said he would take a bullet for the president. and then ultimately decided that wasn't a great idea. roger stone just did. and that also turned out not to be a great idea. and so i think your point earlier, nicolle, is a sound one. everybody who's watching this saw what happened.
and so, you know, gordon sondland has already amended his version of the truth once. maybe we'll see version two or, you know, 3 b or 4d. but my guess is that the stone conviction today is going to sober up some witnesses who might've been tetering. >> all right. we are going to sneak in our last break. frank, joyce vans, thank you so much for being with us. talking us through this incredibly significant day. don't go anywhere out there. we'll be right back. anywhere o. we'll be right back. advanced brain disease research, and better ways to age gracefully. at bayer, this is why we science. high protein. low sugar. tastes great! high protein. low sugar. so good! high protein. low sugar. mmmm, birthday cake! pure protein bars. try lemon cake.
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donald trump's -- >> that's exactly right. and we know women unlike other folks get under donald trump's skin more than anyone else. and i think it was andrew earlier who said she was a more compelling, you know, motive -- you know, not that she's emotional but inspired emotions in people witness than we saw on wednesday. >> no coincidence that she was a strong, tough, brave woman who has spent her life serving u.s. national security. what a day. thank you so much for being with us all day long. my thanks to the rev, alexy, chuck, most of all to you for watching. "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts now. welcome to friday. it's "meet the press daily" and good evening i'm chuck todd here in washington where president trump is clearly rattled. by both the cre